The Observer

CHS students celebrate Black History Month in style

By Bryan Fletcher, Art Director

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With the return of Black History Month this Feb., CHS students and staff have spent the past month commemorating the event through different activities, including the hanging of decorations across the school and the specific clothes that many are wearing.

 

Each year, Feb. is celebrated as National Black History Month, meant to represent and honor the cultural accomplishments, significance and innovation of the black community throughout American history.

 

Officially established in the late 20th century, Black History Month has since become a core component in American tradition, with the celebration extending to the student population of CHS.

 

“African-Americans have been a part of American culture from the very beginning, so it is important that our accomplishments and contributions to many forms of modern academics and culture are recognized,” AP World and African-American History teacher Jamie Kimbrough-Groves said.

 

To show their respect and pride in Black History Month, students from all grades have decorated the doors of CHS classrooms with different posters and signs, highlighting the many different aspects of black culture and activism.

 

The idea to create and hang posters was originally thought up by the Leadership class with help from administration, and has since been promoted by many students and faculty. The media center staff especially contributed to the competition to help to raise awareness and start conversations on the topic of Black History Month.

 

“I believe [the posters] are not only meant for honoring pride, but also for promoting active school spirit and social awareness,” media assistant Tami Burton said. “I think this is a good step in the right direction because in previous years we did not do very much to talk about it.”

 

In addition to the posters around the school, some students have picked up the trend of wearing traditional, yet modern-styled Dashikis: vibrant and multi-colored shirts designed to represent African heritage and black pride.

 

“Wearing a Dashiki to school in America is not as common to see as it would be many countries in Africa, so for students to wear them, it is definitely meant to display heritage and pride, as a person’s clothes are directly related to their culture,” math teacher Chris Jackson said.

 

This acceptance and display of African heritage has been a major key behind Black History Month, with many students seeing it as the perfect opportunity to show off pride in their culture.

 

The final and most important piece to the puzzle of how students are celebrating Black History Month is the sudden and incredible popularity following the release of Black Panther.

The film has been received with outstanding reviews from the general public and CHS students alike for its quality acting, brilliant script, and the cultural and social significance it carries for featuring and representing a nearly all-black cast.

 

“Students are excited to see characters that represent themselves and have connections to both direct and indirect symbolism in their culture,” Jackson said. “I believe people identify with it, and even though the movie is based on a comic, people can see the parallels to real life.”

 

Ultimately, regardless how the community is participating, Black History Month at CHS has certainly brought people together in support of its cultural traditions and social activism.

 

“I thought [Black History Month] was extremely empowering and it gave me this sense of freedom to be able to share a part of my culture so freely and have it accepted in such a positive manner,” senior Precious Melchizedek said.

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CHS students celebrate Black History Month in style